Speculations about Apple cooking up a mini version of its popular iPad line of tablet computers began as early as April 2012, as soon as competition from 7-inch devices such as the Nexus 7 rose and stirred up the tablet marketplace. People initially thought that the little iPad was to be announced at the September 12 “special event;” but to their dismay, it wasn’t (it was all about the iPhone 5). But barely a month after the fete, Apple disclosed that it will be having another media event scheduled on October 16th. And despite the company’s non-disclosure of the subject of the event, people already knew what to expect. True enough, Apple staged the event to officially announce the Apple iPad Mini.
At the October 23 Apple event, also known as the iPad Mini launch, the company’s senior vice president of marketing, Phil Schiller, got out of his way to mock the Google-produced, Android-powered Nexus 7. “Others have tried to make tablets smaller than the iPad, and they’ve failed,” Schiller said before firing his series of attacks against the competition.
Schiller let out a number of claims to prove the “gigantic difference” between the iPad Mini and the Nexus 7 when compared side-by-side. He started by criticizing the build quality of the Nexus device, saying that the plastic back panel paled in comparison to the aluminum design at the back of the Mini and that the large bezel on the Nexus isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as the Mini’s finish.
Following his initial attack, he showed that the Nexus’ 21.9 inches of screen space is nothing compared to the 29.6 inches of screen space on the new Apple release. By using the Guggenheim Museum website as an example, he was able to show that the Mini’s display showed 49 per cent more than the Nexus in portrait mode, while in landscape mode, the Mini showed 67 per cent more of the site.
The Apple executive also lashed at the tablet applications available for Android devices, saying that most apps are just “scaled-up phone experiences” that are inferior over the 275,000 apps created for the iPad for various purposes such as photography, social networking, news gathering, and video or business VoIP calling among others. Admittedly, iOS apps are more “polished” in terms of looks and are considerably of higher quality than their Android counterparts.
If there is one thing Schiller couldn’t mock about the Nexus 7, it’s the unmatchable low price of the Google device. Apple tried to reach out to more customers by tapping into the lower end of the price spectrum and bringing the iPad Mini to a low starting price of $329. But even with a considerable price drop, it couldn’t beat the $199 tag of the competing slate, which might even go lower now that the Steve Jobs-founded company is trying to threaten its obvious darling status for tablet users.
But as they say, if you’re confident enough about what you have to offer, it isn’t necessary to take low blows at the competition.